Blog Post

Conflict Driving Acute Hunger in Sudan, Burkina Faso

As noted in the Global Report on Food Crisis Mid-Year Update, conflict remains one of the major causes of food crises worldwide. Two recent alerts from FEWS Net echo this finding in both East and West Africa, where conflict is driving acute levels of food insecurity and hunger in both Sudan and Burkina Faso.

In Sudan, six months of conflict have disrupted livelihoods and interrupted humanitarian assistance in several areas, particularly Greater Darfur, Greater Kordofan, and Khartoum. Nearly 4.5 million Sudanese have been internally displaced, with 1.2 million more people displaced to neighboring countries.

The situation is further exacerbated by predicted below-average harvests. Higher temperatures and localized poor rainfall have reduced production in areas already hard hit by the fighting; these areas also face reduced ability to harvest the crops that did survive the growing season due to the conflict.

Staple food prices in Sudan vary across major markets. Those in the central and western areas of the country, where the fighting is heaviest, remain extremely high due to disruptions to trade and reduced harvests. FEWS Net reports IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) food insecurity is expected in the coming months, with some areas reaching IPC Phase 4 (Emergency).

In Burkina Faso’s Djibo municipality, conflict has suspended all humanitarian aid delivery since mid-October. This area has faced constrained movement, reduced market activity, and lack of aid for two years due to the fighting. FEWS Net reports that in 2023, less than one-third of households in the region harvested staple foods, and purchasing power has been severely reduced as food prices skyrocketed. As a result, severe hunger and acute malnutrition have become widespread.

The expected food assistance from October through December would have only reached an estimated 16 percent of the Djibo population, FEWS Net reports. After the suspension of aid flights in mid-October, less than 1 percent has in fact received any food aid. With most households expected to exhaust their food stocks before the end of the year, FEWS Net warns the population is likely moving closer to IPC Phase 5 (Famine) level hunger.

Additional municipalities in Burkina Faso’s Sahel Region are also at risk, as active fighting and indirect impacts on food availability and accessibility spread.